-CDF provision voted-out

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CDF provision voted-out

Lusaka, April 5, 2013, ZANIS….The working group on Devolved Governance and Traditional Leadership at the ongoing Sector Groups Convention has agreed to delete a provision that provides for parliament to annually appropriate a percentage of the annual revenues of the country to the Constituency Development Fund.

This means that the Constituency Development Fund which constituencies receive annually as grants from government for developmental projects will be abolished if the clause is allowed to stand in the Zambian constitution.

Delegates at the convention observed that CDF has in the past been abused and not accounted for by the local authorities as the council has had no opportunity to audit the funds.

Chairperson of the group, Chief Chipepo said Members of Parliament have been using the funds on their own programs to gain popularity instead of using it for the intended purposes.

The traditional leader noted that unlike the CDF which were open to abuse by MPs, the Local Government Equalization Fund which will be introduced will be given to the council where the District council will decide how to utilize the funds.

Article 224, clause 3, of the Draft Constitution which a panel of experts and professionals have abolished states that Parliament shall annually appropriate a percentage of the total annual revenue of the republic to a Constituency Development Fund in addition to the money paid into the Local Government Equalization Fund.

Meanwhile, the working group has amended article 207 of the FDC to provide for the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly to be recruited from outside the house as opposed to the provision of the FDC that the speaker and his vice shall be elected by the members of the provincial assembly from amongst themselves.

The working group which is being chaired by Chief Chipepo has however proposed for provision to provide for the life of the provincial assemblies which has been suggested to stand at 5 years.

And the working group has further recommended that Civil Society organizations and senior citizens be included in the composition of the Provincial Assembly.